E-Books. How do you feel about e-books yourself? I’ve learned that the e-book phenomenon is a polarizing topic of conversation. Surprisingly, I find myself somewhere in the middle. Some books work extremely well as e-books. Other books I just prefer to have in print. It’s a mixed bag.
My favorite kind of e-books are the ones I can enjoy reading on my Kindle (any e-reading device). Mostly, these are fictional books and it is so much like reading a book I am happy to have saved the shelf space. Recently, I was introduced to a vendor who puts all kinds of public domain books into Kindle format and these include non-fiction history texts. My whole family has been enjoying those books as well.
When a book is a copiable work text, or contains a large number of pages that need to be copied for homeschool, having a pdf ebook just makes sense. It is so much easier for me to sit at my lapbook, call up the pages I need and print them from my sofa, before sending a younger child upstairs to retrieve the copies. If I have to actually copy pages out of a book, it requires assigning an older child to babysit the twins, walking up the stairs, fiddling with the copier, and it takes at least three times as long as printing directly from a pdf e-book would take. So yeah, I prefer for printable books to come in pdf format. Before purchasing a book like this, make sure you have the rights to print copies for all of the children in your immediate family. The best homeschool publishers always give this permission.
Curriculum books – I just prefer to have in printed form. I find it very difficult to scan through a Science curriculum or History curriculum and get a feel for how it works when it is e-book format. I need to touch and feel that kind of book and read it out of order. My favorite recent review of a curriculum book was a book that came as a printed book and had a cd inside with all the printables. That is just about perfect!
Space Saving. One benefit of e-books my husband is always quick to point out is the saved bookshelf space and moving weight. We move with the military every three or four years and we have a weight limit which we have maxed out. So anything that can save us pounds is a big plus. We have buying books for our kids on the Kindle and they love using it!
Printability. I’ve already mentioned the ease of printing worksheets from an ebook.
Portability. I carry my Kindle with me everywhere, and even use it as my Bible on Sunday at church. Unlike my physical books, it is super lightweight and has a protective case. When we travel and homeschool at the same time, I take my computer along and we can use any pdf ebook we have while we are on the road. It is much harder to take physical books along on vacation or necessary travel.
Cost Savings. Publishers and authors spend less money producing ebooks and can afford to pass some of that savings on to you.
A friend recently told me that e-books are the trend of the future. I’ll be hanging on to my printed books for a long time, but it is also time to embrace the future and focus on the benefits of this new trend.
Don Milne says
I agree that ebooks are a good resource for home school families. I highly recommend paying the $79 for Amazon Prime. Not only does it give you free shipping on Amazon orders and free videos such as Myth Busters, it also allows you to “borrow” books to your Kindle for free. It is a great, low cost way to read many books. I have found it a great way to share my home school adventure book with home schooling families at no extra cost to them.